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tv   News  Al Jazeera  April 8, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm EDT

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and they are choosing to do this, and they are this and that and the other. she was doing the same job. probably doing it better. [ laughter ] >> same job. [ applause ] >> working just as hard probably putting in more hours. but she was getting systematically paid less. and so she set out to make sure this country lived up to its founding. the idea that all of us are created equal, and when the courts didn't answer her call, congress did. the first time lilly and i stood together in this room was my tenth day in office, and that's when he signed the lilly ledbetter fair pay act. [ applause ] >> first bill i signed into law. and some of the leaders who helped make that happen are here today, including leader pelosi,
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and senator [ inaudible ], and congress woman daloral. [ cheers and applause ] >> i want to thank all of the members of congress and all of the state legislators and advocates who are here, because you all contributed to that e eh -- effort. and i want to give a special thanks to though on the equal pay task force. we're here because today is equal payday. [ cheers and applause ] >> equal payday. and it's nice to have a day. but it's even better to have equal pay. [ applause ] >> and our job is not finished yet. equal payday means that a woman has to work about this far into 2014 to earn what a man earned in 2013. think about that.
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a woman has got to work about three more months in order to get what a man got. because she is paid less. that's not fair. that's like, adding an extra six miles to a marathon. [ laughter ] >> it's not right. ain't right. [ laughter ] >> it's not right and it ain't right. [ laughter ] >> america should be a level playing field, a fair race for everybody. a place where anybody who is willing to work hard has a chance to get ahead, and restoring that opportunity for every american, men and women has to be a driving focus for our country. the good news is today our economy is growing, businesses created almost 9 million new
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jobs over the past four years, more than 7 million americans have signed up for health care coverage under the affordable care act. [ cheers and applause ] >> that's a good thing too. and i know it's equal payday, and not obamacare day, but i do want to point out that the affordable care act guarantees free preventive care like mammograms and contraceptive care for tens of millions of women, and ends the days when you could be charged more just for being a woman when it comes to your health insurance. and that's true for everybody. [ applause ] >> that's just one more place where things were not fair. we'll talk about dry cleaners next, right? [ laughter ] >> because i know that . . . [ applause ] >> i don't know why it costs more for michelle's blouse than
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my shirt. [ laughter ] >> but we have got to make sure that america works for everybody. anybody who is willing to work hard, they should be able to get ahead, and we have to build an economy that works for everybody, not just those at the top. restoring opportunity for all has to be our priority. that's what america's about. it doesn't matter where you started off, what you look like. you work hard, you take responsibility you make the effort, you should be able to get ahead. and we have to fight for an opportunity agenda, which means more good jobs that pay good wages. and training americans so they can fulfill those jobs, and making sure the economy rewards hard work for every single american. and part of that is fighting for fair pay for women because when women succeed, america succeeds. [ cheers and applause ]
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>> when women succeed, america succeeds. that's true. i believe that. [ cheers and applause ] >> it's true. it's true. it's true. [ applause ] >> here -- here is the challenge. today the average full-time working women earns just $0.77 for every dollar a man earns. for african american women, latinos, it's even less. and in 2014, that's an embarrassment. it is wrong. and this is not just an issue of fairness. it's also a family issue, and an economic issue. because women make up about half of our work force and they are increasingly the breadwinners for a whole lot of families out there, so when they make less money it means less money for gas, groceries, child care, less
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money for college tuition. less money is going into retirement savings, and it's all bad for business because our economy depends on customers out there, and when customers have less money, when hardworking women don't have the resources, you know, that -- that's a problem. when businesses lose terrific women talent because they are fed up with unfair policies, that's bad for business. they lose out on -- on the contributions that those women could be making. when any of our citizens can -- can't fulfill their potential, we're not living up to our founding values. we don't have second-class citizens in this country, certainly not in the workplace. so tomorrow the senate has the
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chance to start making this right bypassing a bill that lilly already alluded to, the paycheck fairness act. [ applause ] >> they have a chance to do -- do the right thing. and it would put sensible rules into place, like makes sure employees who discuss their salaries don't face retaliation by their employers. there are women here today who worked in offices where it was against the rules for employees to discuss salaries with one another, and because of that, they didn't know they were being paid less than men, just like lilly didn't know, for doing the exact same work. for some it was years before they found out, and even then it only hand because manager accidentally let it slip, or as in lilly's case, a sympathetic coworker passed a note.
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she only found out because somebody left an anonymous note. we conditionileave than to chan. and over the course of her career she lost more than $200,000 in salary, and pension benefits simply because she was a woman. and lilly and some of the other women here decided it was wrong. set out to fix it. they went to their bosses, they asked for a raise. that didn't work. they turned to the law. they filed suit. and for some after years of waiting and persisting, they finally got some justice. tomorrow the senate could pay tribute to their courage by voting yes for paycheck fairness. this should not be a hard proposition. it should not be that complicated. [ applause ] >> so far republicans in
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congress have been gumming up the works, blocking progress on this issue, and of course other issues that would help with the economic recovery and help us grow faster, but we don't have to accept that. america you don't have to sit still, you can make sure that you are putting pressure on members of congress about this issue, and i don't care whether you are democrat or republican, if you are a voter, if you have got a daughter, you got a sister, you got a mom, i know you got a mom -- [ laughter ] >> this is something you should care about. and i'm not going to stand still either, so in this year of action i have used my executive authority whenever i could to create opportunity for more americans, and today i'm going to take executive action to make it easier for women to earn fair pay. first i'll sign an executive order to prohibit federal
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contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other. [ applause ] >> all right. [ applause ] >> pay secrecy fosters discrimination, and we should not tolerate it. not in federal contracting or anywhere else. second, i'm signing a presidential memorandum, directing the department of labor, and tom perez to require federal contractors to provide data about their pay, so discrimination can be spotted more easily. there are great employers out there who do the right thing, and there are plenty of employers who are absolutely certain there is no pay discrimination happening in their offices, but then sometimes when the data is laid out, it paints a different
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picture. many times they then do everything they can to fix the problem, so we want to encourage them to fix these problems if they exist by making sure that the data is out there. so everybody who cares abc this should pay attention to how the senate votes tomorrow on this payness -- paycheck fairness act. because the majority of senators support this bill. but two years ago a minority of senate republicans blocked it from getting a vote. even worse some commentators are out there saying that the pay gap doesn't even exist. they say it is a myth. but it is not a myth, it's math. you can look at the paychecks. you can look at the stubs. [ applause ] >> i mean lilly ledbetter didn't just make this up. [ laughter ] >> the -- the court -- when it
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looks at the documents says yep you have been getting paid less for doing the same job. it's just the court said -- as lilly said, it has been happening so long you can't do anything about it anymore. which made no sense and that's why we had to sign another bill. this makes a real difference for a lot of americans who are working hard to support their families, and of course, the fact that we got some resistance from folks on this issue up on capitol hill, just fits with this larger problem, this vision that the congressional republicans seem to be continually embracing. this notion that you are just on your own, no matter how unfair things are. you see it in their budget. the budget they put forward last week. it's like a bad rerun. it would give massive tax cuts to households making over a
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million dollars a year. and force cuts in early education and job training, and that novel idea of repealing the affordable care act, 50th time they have tried that, which would mean the more than 7 million americans who have done the responsible thing and signed up to buy health insurance, they would lose their health insurance and the 3 million young adults who paid on their parents plan, they no longer have that available. take us back to the days when insurance could charge women more just for being a woman. on minimum wage. three out of four americans support raising the minimum wage. usually when three out of four americans support something, members of congress are right there. and yet here republicans in the congress are dead set against it.
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blocking pay raises for millions of americans. the ma'am jorty of them, women. this isn't just about treating women fairly, it is about opposing even efforts to even the playing field for working american families. i was up in michigan last week, and i said i don't understand fully the theory behind this. i don't know why you would resist the idea that women should be paid the same as men. and then deny that that's not always happening out there. if republicans in congress want to prove me wrong, if they want to show that they in fact do care about women being paid the same as men, then show me. they can start tomorrow. they can join us in this, the 21st century, and vote yes on
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the paycheck fairness act. [ cheers and applause ] >> vote yes. [ applause ] >> and if anybody is watching or listening, and you care about this issue, then let your senators know where you standing because americans deserve equal pay for equal work. this is not something we're going to achieve in a day. there is going to be a lot of stuff that we have got to do to close the pay gap. we have to make it more possible for women to enter high-paying fields. women hold less than 6% of our country's commercial patents. we need more parents and high school teachers and professors encouraging women and girls to study math and science. we need more businesses to make
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diversity a priority when they hire. i think we would all agree that we need more women in congress. [ cheers and applause ] >> fewer than 20% of congressional seats are held by women. clearly congress would get more done if the ratio was evened out a little bit. [ laughter ] >> so we have got to work on that. and we have to do more to make the working place more welcoming to women. because the studies show even when in the same profession there is still a wage gap. so we have to keep making the case of why these policies are the right ones, and this will lead up to the first ever white house summit on work families on
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january 23rdrd. so this is not just an economic issue for millions of american families, it's also about whether we're willing to build an economy that works for everybody, and whether we'll do our part to make sure our daughters have the same chances to pursue their dreams as our sons, and whether we're willing to restore that basic idea that you can make it no matter who you are if you try. and that is personal for me. i have said before, i have got two daughters, and i expect them to be treated just like anybody's sons. and i think about my single mom working hard, going to school, trying to raise two kids, all at the same time, and i think about my grandmother trying to work her way up through her career, and then hitting the glass ceiling, and i have seen how hard they have worked and how they have sucked it up, and, you
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know, they put up with stuff and they don't say anything, and they, you know, just take care of their family and they take care of themselves and they don't complain a lot. you know, but at a certain point, we have the power to do something about it for the next generation, and is a good place to start. so for everybody out there who is listening, ask your senator where you stand on paycheck fairness. if they tell you there is not a pay gap out there, you tell them to look at the data because there is. [ applause ] >> it's time to get this done, and i'm going to do my small part right now by signing these orders. [ cheers and applause ] >> you are listening to the president of the united states he is in the east wing of the white house. he is flanked by women on this the equal payday, the day that women have to work in order to make the same wages that men
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have already earned. he is flanked by lilly ledbetter there. she is the person who sued goodyear tire and rubber when she found out that she cede approximately $1,000 less than the lowest-paid male employ employee. he supreme court agreeing that she had been treated unfairly, but saying she waited too long to sue. our mike viqueira at the white house. mike explain to us these two laws that the president is signing right now. >> you heard the president say the statistics, $0.77 on the dollar that's what the average woman makes for every dollar the average male makes. you cited lilly ledbetter there, the first law the president signed into law -- the first bill he signed in to law. and you may have noticed the
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president using a pen for each letter of his name? plenty of souvenirs to go around there. it would ban companies -- federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation in the workplace. no retaliation, he is also signing an executive action that would require federal contractors, of course those who do business with the government to report to the department of labor, statistics, data that breaks down the rate of pay by sex, gender, and race. and the white house hopes to promote more transparency. lilly ledbetter has told the story many times, that she worked for yearsal a salary a thousand dollars lower than the lowest paid male of that company. so transparency, and the
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president passing that bill tomorrow that would extend that to the private sector tomorrow. >> these are the opening [ inaudible ] -- >> oh, absolutely. >> the president using this as an unfair economy and an unfair economy to women. >> it sounds trilish to talk about. but barack obama beat mitt romney by 11 percentage points. women make up a significant portion of the democratic base. only those who are motivated, part of the base show up in midterm election. if you are president obama, you see a real danger of the senate going to republicans, so the president is trying to motivate the base. this is a big part of this event date. >> mike thank you very much. we are also following breaking news coming out of ukraine.
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separatists have now placed explosives in a building in seized city. kim tell us what you know. >> reporter: well just a short time ago we heard from ukrainian authorities who say that this building, the state security building was taken over by pro-russia protesters on sunday. we have been told that the protesters there have laid explosives or some sort of booby traps in the building, that they have other weapons and possibly even grenades, and they have taken 60 people hostage. this building has been in control of pro-russian protesters and this all played out as ukrainian authorities tried to move in and take control of the building. it is obviously a very tenths
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situation here, but also tense here in donetsk where activists have control of a building here. they are forming a human barricade because they are expecting some sort of approach from police here in the coming hours. >> also reporting there are similar problems right now taking place in karkiev, and eastern ukraine. the secretary of state appearing on capitol hill selling the centers that it is the belief of the united states that it is russia behind all of these anti-ukrainian activities taking place. we continue to follow the events there. we have much more news to get you caught up on. we'll be right back.
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i'm del walters in new york. earlier today, secretary of state john kerry appeared before the senate foreign relations committee. that hearing had to be postponed twice do you see to the crisis in ukraine, and as you just heard that crisis is only growing worse. libby casey on capitol hill right now, and tough talk coming from the secretary concerning russia's actions in ukraine. >> that's right, del. he does believe there is involvement in the separatist movements, and it is deeply disturbing. you hear the tough tone but he has gotten some criticism from
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some of the members of the committee including senator mccain. he said the secretary of state is speaking strongly but carrying a small stick, in fact a twig, del. so members of this committee very concerned about some of the u.s. engagement or lack of engagement in a variety of foreign affairs issues. >> the bottom line of the hearing seemed to be the issue of what to do if you don't put foo boots on the ground. is there any stomach for boots on the ground around the world? >> some members of the committee have been rattling off this list of places the u.s. is watching closely and does have concerns there. it is easier to criticize from
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the bench than it is to make the decision of whether or not to put boots on the ground. a lot of members want a clear sense of what the obama administration game plan is. and they said if you commit the u.s. further, whether it's with aid, whether it's with sanctions, we want a say in that. we want to approve or disapprove of that as well. we saw an interesting exchange with bob corker. he is concerned about syria. and wants more intel. and he referenced comments made earlier by a member of the state department official staff who talked about the possibility of aiding rebels in syria more, well, he wants to know what the administration is thinking. but there is not a lot of appetite for boots on the
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ground. a very different perspective from the john mccains and senator corker. >> he was speaking to the senators and telling the american public what happens overseas does have an impact on the united states. can you sum up what he had to say? >> yeah, and the hearing is still going on. but he says the u.s. does have a vital role to play all around the world. it's not the cold war days, but he u.s. still really matters. >> i'm del walters in new york. thanks for watching. "the stream" is next. ♪
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hi i'm lisa fletcher, and you are in the stream. diabetes is growing twice as fast in the u.s. as western europe with some 80 million at risk, we discuss the sharp rise in one of the leading causes of death, and the solution many simple. ♪ my co-host and digital producer, wajahat ali is here bringing in all of your live feedback throughout the show. today is world health day, so we're dedicating this show to


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